Author Archives: Miriam Sandiford

Student working on laptop

Student Success Expectations Survey closes 17 Nov

The Annual Student Success Expectations Survey is now open to all students! Make your voice heard in this long-standing piece of academic research.

Why are we doing this?

  • We want to understand what you hope to achieve during your time here and how we can best support you.
  • We want to learn more about your academic expectations and your hopes and plans.
  • We want to use your responses to help develop and improve services for students.
  • We want to better understand whether there are any potential barriers to your progress so that we can plan to mitigate these going forwards.

Prize Draw

In return for 7-10 minutes of your time you will be entered into a prize draw to win a whopping £300 Amazon voucher and you’ll also be added to a Divisional draw for a £20 Amazon voucher! The number of £20 Amazon vouchers available per Division depends on your engagement, so we are really encouraging as many of you to complete the survey as possible.

Plus you will also earn yourself 5 Employability Points, which can be cashed-in to apply for exclusive internships, placements and training on the Employability Points Scheme. Student Success will get in touch directly with any lucky winners to arrange prize collection.

Complete the survey now.

Student smiling stroking pets as therapy dog

Events roundup 6-12 November

Find out what’s on this week:

Monday 6 November: Writing skills workshops

Brush up on your writing skills with workshops from the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) on writing introductions and conclusions and paragraph writing. These are in-person workshops or online access on request. See more SLAS workshops.

Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) are running a support session for students affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Israel and ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza. This is a drop-in session taking place from 13:00-14:00 on Monday, upstairs in Locke Building near the Coop, staffed by a mental health adviser and counsellor from SSW. All students are welcome.

Tuesday 7 November:  Black Student Voices Summit and Go Abroad Fair

One year on from the launch of the Kent Union project Black Student Voices, Kent Union are hosting a summit to present the findings of the researchers and also celebrate the Black community on our campus. You’re invited to join for a full day of community building, learning and fun.

The Go Abroad Team will be joined by providers of Summer abroad opportunities in Nexus on Tuesday afternoon. Come along to hear about the opportunities and funding available for volunteering, internships and study abroad opportunities for Summer 2024.

Wednesday 8 November: Coco the Therapy Dog and pizza making session

Pause for Paws returns to Nexus in Templeman Library. Take a break with Coco the therapy dog, a certified Pets as Therapy dog. Coco is very friendly, calm and loves to be fussed over.

Join the ResLife Ambassadors for a pizza making session.  Chef Benjamin Elsbury will show you how to make a pizza from scratch! Places are limited so book on the Home at Halls app.

Thursday 9 November:  PGR Yoga/Writing Retreat and Cheese Tasting

If you’re a postgrad researcher, why not come along to this Yoga and Writing Retreat? The day starts with an hour of yoga to prepare the body and mind for writing. You’ll then be encouraged to work in blocks of 50 minutes on your thesis/project, with refreshments provided and a short, guided mediation after lunch.

On Thursday evening you can join the ResLife Ambassadors for cheese tasting in Sibson. Find out how cheese is made and learn how to taste cheese like a food scientist.

Saturday 11 November: Learn how to build an app

Join us for this one-day workshop when you will learn how to build an app in Bubble, with our Tech Entrepreneur in Residence Jon Carroll. You’ll also get a free lunch. This event is part of the Business Start-up Journey series by ASPIRE.

Sunday 12 November: Glass painting and colouring

Enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon of glass painting, canvas painting and colouring with the ResLife Ambassadors in Keynes.

See more student events.

Student opportunities

  • The Canterbury Safer Streets Survey has been extended. The survey, run by Canterbury Christ Church University, is conducting research with students in Kent and Medway and aims to understand better the experiences of students in relation to a wide range of safety issues.
  • Student art pass – a year of art and opportunities for £10. Your Student Art Pass lets you dive into culture on a budget with free entry to hundreds of museums and galleries across the UK and 50% off major exhibitions.

Student Learning Advisory Service…at your service!

Did you know that the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) is hosting no fewer than twenty five on-campus workshops at Canterbury and sixteen at the Medway campus this term? Most of these workshops are being delivered as hybrid sessions so you can join even if you cannot make it in person. 

As we speed towards the second part of the Autumn term and assessment deadlines start to loom large on the horizon, it’s a great time to seek help from our advisers. Among the various academic skills workshops we have on offer are: 

  • Writing introductions and conclusions 
  • Paragraph writing 
  • Presentation skills 
  • Effective reading 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Using AI as a legitimate tool 
  • Advanced essay writing 
  • Good academic practice using TurnitIn 

Plus we also cover a range of maths and stats topics such as: 

  • Probability 
  • Anova and Chi-square testing 
  • Calculus – stationery points and slopes 
  • Calculus – differentiation 

See all SLAS in-person events and book online.

SLAS is here to help you become your best ‘academic you’ and to achieve your goals. 

LibrarySearch Discover

LibrarySearch Discovery: take your research to the next level

We’re thrilled to let you know about some upcoming enhancements to LibrarySearch to help transform your research. From 1 November we’re launching LibrarySearch Discovery, a pilot scheme running from November 2023 until April 2024.

LibrarySearch Discovery will provide access to 50 million+ curated Open Access resources in addition to the extensive collections already available from University of Kent libraries, making it easier than ever to find the right information for your next assignment or research project.

Open Access (OA) resources are freely available, digital content from around the globe. They are part of a wider ‘open’ movement to encourage the free exchange of knowledge and resources to widen access and encourage creativity.

Open access - examples including good information supply, free and fast access to scholarly information and efficient research and innovation

Key benefits of LibrarySearch Discovery

  • Free access to 50 million high-quality academic journals, ebooks, datasets and educational resources
  • Clearer layout that’s easy-to-use with search results separated by collection type
  • Seamless, accessible browsing of collections anywhere, from any device
  • Intuitive interface to filter and rank your search results.
  • Direct links to available online content regardless of format.

Finding resources will work in exactly the same way, with a simple keyword search in a single search box.

Screenshot showing LibrarySearch Discovery search results screen showing location of new tabbed search content: Library collections; Digital collections and Open Access resources.

The new search results page will initially show you all relevant items held in our Library collections but you can also view search results from our Digital Collections and Open Access resources just by clicking through the three tabs.

We hope that you’ll like the look and improved functionality of the new LibrarySearch Discovery interface. If you would prefer to use the original LibrarySearch or LibrarySearch Digital you can choose the ‘Classic’ or ‘Digital’ views available at the top of the screen.

What’s next

We are really pleased to be able to share these amazing resources with you and hope that you’ll take full advantage of the opportunities LibrarySearch Discovery provides.

We’ll be demonstrating how to get the most out of Open Access content during the year and in our library training.

We are committed to providing you with the resources you need for your academic study and research, and to working closely with you to ensure we have a successful pilot.

If you have any questions please get in touch:

Student sat at bench with autumn leaves on ground

Events roundup: 30 October – 5 November

Find out what’s on this week, including some fun Halloween events and opportunities to try something new.

Monday 30 October: Israel and Gaza support drop-in and study support

Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) are running a support session for students affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Israel and ongoing war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza. This is a drop-in session taking place from 13:00-14:00 on Monday, upstairs in Locke Building near the Coop, staffed by a mental health adviser and counsellor from SSW. All students are welcome.

Improve your study skills with events on Monday including general essay writing, Canterbury, time management for PGT students in Drill Hall Library, Medway, and a workshop on good academic practice – acknowledging your sources, Canterbury. See more Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) workshops.

Tuesday 31 October: Halloween activities and Kent Police drop-in

Happy Halloween! On Tuesday afternoon you can have some fun pumpkin carving in the Venue, and if you live on campus, you can join a Halloween quiz and movie at the Gulbenkian with the ResLife Ambassadors.

At Medway campus, you can team up and test your wits in a mobile escape room. Plus, in the evening there’s a Halloween party at the Deep End with the Music Society.

On Tuesday mornings during term-time, Kent Police are running a drop-in clinic in Locke Building on Canterbury campus. You can chat to them about crime prevention and safety or any general enquiries you may have.

Wednesday 1 November: Kent Police drop-in (Medway) and try something new

Kent Police are running a drop-in clinic in the Drill Hall Library, Medway, 10:00-12:00. You can chat to them about crime prevention and safety or any general enquiries you may have.

As there’s no scheduled teaching on Wednesday afternoons, use this as an opportunity to gain skills or find new passions and meet new people. This Wednesday you can try out the University Community Choir, join the research café and discover diverse routes into a PhD, volunteer at the Kent Community Oasis Garden or go along to the ASPIRE Business Start-Up Journey event around how to spot a gap in the market.

Thursday 2 November: Maths workshops

Brush up on your maths skills with these in-person maths and stats workshops on Thursday afternoon.

Friday 3 November: Global Hangout

On Friday you can go along to the November Global Hangout where we will be celebrating Guy Fawkes Night. Learn more about how it is celebrated and have a go at the interactive quiz to test your knowledge. There will also be hot chocolate and other bonfire-inspired snacks available for you to treat yourself to, while making new friends.

Saturday 4 November: Ponies and swimming

Meet some friendly ponies in Chilham with the ResLife ambassadors. You will be shown the basics of pony care including giving them a brush and a treat.

Enjoy swimming? Kent Union has hired a local swimming pool in Canterbury between 12:00-13:00 on Saturday just for Kent students!

See more student events.

Support reminder

Need some extra support? As we cross the halfway point of the Autumn term, it’s a good idea to make use of services available to you.

  • Nexus (in Templeman Library and online) can help with any query, signposting you in the right direction. Nexus is now open later and at weekends.
  • Divisional support teams are there to help you with matters specific to your course including changing modules/groups, support and adjustments and any questions about your studies.
  • Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) offer study skills, writing, maths, assignment and revision support to all students, from foundation to PhD.
  • Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) can help with mental health, disability, autism and specific learning differences (SpLDs, including ADHD and dyslexia), and accessibility.
  • Careers and Employability Service provides advice, workshops and tools to prepare you for employment and further study.
  • Welfare and Community Life provides friendly, informal advice and can support you with disputes in your accommodation, as well as refer to a range of other specific services.
  • Kent Union’s Advice Service offers free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of issues.

See all student support.

Canterbury Safer Streets logo

Take part in Canterbury Safer Streets survey

From Canterbury Christ Church University.

As part of a government funded Safer Streets project, Canterbury Christ Church University is conducting research with students in Kent and Medway.

The research aims to gain a better understanding of the experiences of students in relation to spiking, stalking, sexual harassment, sexual violence and sexual misconduct. The insights gained from this study will enable us to be better able to tackle such incidences within our communities and ensure that we are building a safer environment for all.

We are keen to ensure that we authentically capture the voices of all students and as such, we encourage everyone from all backgrounds (men, women, non-binary, ethnically diverse/minoritised communities, LGBTQ+ communities, individuals with a disability) to share their experiences and thoughts.

Please note that some questions within this survey will include sensitive information and ask personal questions about your experiences in relation to spiking, stalking, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence. If you find these distressing, we would prefer that you do not continue with the survey and you can exit the survey at any point. Also, remember you can use your university’s online Report and Support Tool to connect with the Student Support and Wellbeing Team if you need emotional support or guidance on any harassment or sexual misconduct you have witnessed or experienced.

The survey is anonymous, and your responses will be confidential. As a thank you, you will be entered into a prize draw to win Love2Shop (or similar) vouchers (20x £30).

If you would like to obtain further information related to the survey or how your personal data is processed for this project please contact

Thank you for playing your part in this important research.

Take part in the Student Safer Streets survey

Group of international students

Apply to be on our International Student Advisory Board

Are you passionate, organised and motivated to represent international students at Kent and make a difference to their student experience?

The International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) launched in January 2023 and is in collaboration with Kent Union to ensure that the needs and voices of our international students are heard.

The purpose of this Board will be:

  • To inform the inclusivity and accessibility of university-wide services and policies at both the University and Kent Union, for the benefit of all international students at the University of Kent
  • To provide feedback mechanisms to allow international students to actively contribute towards campaigns, awareness raising and submit suggestions for policy change
  • To support internationally focused activities and events such as, Welcome and Arrivals, Worldfest and International Education Week.

We are looking for up to 20 individuals to join and work alongside our existing Board members.  Whether you have been at Kent for a while or have just joined us this September, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to represent and make a difference to your student experience while at Kent.

To apply:

– You must be a current international student at the University of Kent
– You must have enthusiasm and commitment to improving the international student experience
– You must be available to attend all the meeting dates advertised

For more information, to hear from Eunice, a previous ISAB member on why you should join the Board and to apply, please see our webpageDeadline for applications is 30 October.

Nexus desk with staff smiling

Nexus support: now open later and at weekends

Nexus staff can help with any query, signposting you in the right direction. You can ask Nexus for help with accommodation, wellbeing, course queries and admin, KentOne card issues, support and much more.

We have extended the Nexus opening hours. During term-time, you can now access Nexus 9:00-21:00 on weekdays, and 12:00-18:00 on weekends!

Nexus is located in Templeman Library D Block, on the ground floor. Go in the Main Entrance, through the turnstiles, and take the first right.  See the map for directions (view PDF map).

Can’t make it onto the Canterbury campus? Log in via Nexus online to find out who to ask about your problem.

Black female student holding degree and smiling at graduation ceremony


Black Female Professors in Higher Education

Welcome to Week 4 of BHM 2023!

Professor Diamond Ashiagbor

Black Female Professors in Higher Education University of Kent Black Female Professor, Diamond Ashiagbor

As of December 1st, 2020, there were 224,530 academic staff members employed in UK higher education institutions, excluding atypical staff. Among the 22,855 professors, 6,510 (28%) were women, consistent with the previous year. Of the total academic staff, 17% were EU nationals, while 15% were non-UK nationals from non-EU countries. The majority of academic staff were White (89%), with 7% being Asian.

In terms of Black representation, only 160 professors (1%) were Black, out of which 61 were Black women. As we commemorate Black History – ‘saluting our sisters’, it is crucial to address the underrepresentation of Blacks in academia, particularly Black women, and the resulting barriers to career advancement and professorship. The empirical evidence highlights the urgency in today’s world, to go beyond headlines, surface-level, and endless discussions and actively push for accelerating the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and other domains, with reference to quantitative metrics and qualitative narratives.

Category 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Source of basic salary
Wholly general financed by the provider 158,375 163,010 169,790 174,265 174,940
All other sources of finance 48,495 48,970 47,275 49,260 49,590
Academic employment function
Teaching only 56,130 61,050 66,355 72,540 72,970
Teaching and research 100,165 100,120 98,600 98,085 98,630
Research only 49,085 49,515 50,855 51,510 51,375
Neither teaching nor research 1,490 1,290 1,255 1,390 1,555
Contract level
Professor 20,550 20,940 21,520 22,810 22,855
Other senior academic 6,050 6,175 6,185 6,115 6,220
Other contract level 180,270 184,860 189,360 194,600 195,455
Terms of employment
Open-ended/permanent 137,025 141,035 144,315 148,945 151,920
Fixed-term contract 69,850 70,945 72,750 74,580 72,610
Total 206,870 211,980 217,065 223,525 224,530


As universities experience an increasingly diverse student body, it becomes essential to have a teaching academics that reflects this diversity. Creating a diverse staff is crucial for promoting inclusivity and creating a student-centered educational environment. This entails not only increasing the representation of Black female professors, but also other ethnic minorities. Representation is important. When students of color see lecturers who resemble them with shared experiences, a sense of belonging and acceptance on campus is fostered. Consequently, this can positively impact Student Success and overall retention.

Black professors have a significant and positive impact on higher education. They bring their unique perspectives, experiences, and expertise to the classroom, enriching the learning experience for all students. Black professors also serve as role models and mentors to Black students, helping them to succeed academically and professionally. Black professors in higher education can have a significant and multifaceted impact on the academic community, students, and the broader society. Here are some specific areas of the impact of Black professors in higher education:

  • Diverse Perspectives | Institutional Change

They contribute to a more diverse and inclusive curriculum. Black professors are more likely to teach courses on race, ethnicity, and social justice, which are essential for all students to learn about.

  • Representation and Diversity| Mentorship | Student Success

They also bring their own unique cultural perspectives to their teaching, which can help students develop a better understanding of the world around them. They improve academic outcomes for Black students. Research has shown that Black students who have Black professors are more likely to graduate from university and earn higher grades. This is likely due to a number of factors, including increased role modelling, mentoring, and cultural understanding.

  • Inspiring All Students| Role Models| Social Justice and Equity

They create a more welcoming and inclusive campus climate. Black professors can help to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus climate for all students, regardless of their race or ethnicity. They can do this by serving as role models, mentors, and advocates for Black students, and by working to create a more equitable and just campus community.

  • Research and Scholarship | Global Perspective | Community Engagement

In addition to these specific impacts, Black professors also play a vital role in advancing knowledge and scholarship. They conduct research on a wide range of topics, including race, ethnicity, social justice, and the Black diaspora. Their work helps to expand our understanding of the world and to promote social change.

While Black professors make significant impacts and many positive contributions to higher education, it is important to note that there are still challenges and disparities in representation and support for the larger Black community. These include issues such as underrepresentation, pay gaps, and barriers to career advancement. Efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in academia require urgent action.

Black female lecturers are crucial to the academic success of all students in higher education. I’m optimistic! Look at that smile and pure joy on the face of one of our Kent students who graduated this July. I believe she is on her way to greatness, perhaps another Black female professor in the making…

Black female graduate posing for photo at graduation ceremony

I hope this #KNOWLEDGESHIFT about BHM 2023 has inspired you in some way and enhanced your understanding of Black culture and its people. The blog series has explored various topics such as Black hair, African talking drums, Black cuisine, and Black female professors in higher education. I invite you to make room for one another, every culture, and ethnicity – there are galaxies yet to be explored. It’s the Human Race, not colour race. Thank you!

Four students sat around table

Events roundup: 23-29 Oct  

Black History Month events continue this week and make sure you check out the exhibitions happening at Canterbury and Medway! 

Here’s a summary of all the events and support at Kent this week.  

Monday 23 October: Israel Gaza conflict support drop-in and planning and using AI to plan your essay 

Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) are running a support session for students affected by the Israel Gaza conflict from 13:00-14:00 on Monday. This is a drop-in session taking place upstairs in Locke Building near the Coop, staffed by a mental health adviser and counsellor from SSW. All students are welcome. 

Go along to this study support session on how artificial intelligence (AI) can be useful in the planning stages of essay writing from 13:00-14:00 on Monday. 

Tuesday 24 October: Pebble painting and personality tests  

Make friends at a calming pebble painting session with Kent Union’s Buddy Scheme. All craft equipment is provided so all you need to do is go along to the Venue at midday on Tuesday.  

What personality type are you? Take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in Drill Hall Library (Medway) on Tuesday to identify your personality type and how it can help you manage stress, conflict resolution and improve communication with others.  

Wednesday 25 October: Gardening, Bee Walk and help with job applications 

Head to the Kent Community Oasis Garden open session to help grow some veg and this Wednesday there is also a Bee Walk at 14:00 where you will survey the bumble bees on site.  

If you are applying for graduate schemes, placements or part-time jobs, the Careers team run events throughout the year to help you every step of the way. This Wednesday you can prepare by going to: What is a Graduate Scheme and how do I get one?; Speed Interviewing and How to answer interview questions. 

Thursday 26 October: Black Owned Student Business Market and Halloween crafts 

Don’t miss the Black Owned Student Business Market on Thursday afternoon, from 12:00-16:00, at Canterbury plaza. At the market you will find a fantastic selection of products from Black business owners including some of our fantastic student entrepreneurs!  

Enjoy some Halloween crafts at Kent Union’s Halloween decoration making Give it a Go event in the Venue (Canterbury) at midday on Thursday. Or if you’re at Medway, head to the Hub for a Halloween Crafternoon.

Get ready for winter at this preloved winter clothing sale at Medway on Thursday in the Blake building from 10:00-16:00. 

Friday 27 October: Writing at Master’s level and CV/cover letter support  

Need help with a CV or cover letter? Don’t miss this online support session with a careers adviser. 

If you have just started a Master’s or you are a PG student who wants to improve their academic writing, go along to this introduction to writing at Master’s Level in Canterbury on Friday. 

See more student events.

Opportunities and reminders

See more student opportunities.